Understanding the Role of Explanation in Cognition

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

Why are humans so driven to seek explanations, and why do we have the particular explanatory preferences that we do? The proposed research investigates the hypothesis that explanations serve as a mechanism for the development of knowledge structures that are useful in the sense that they support generalization, prediction, and intervention.

Research Design: 

The project uses a comparative research design and will generate evidence that is causal [experimental]. Original data will be collected on human adults using survey research [self-completion questionnaire] and computer tasks other than questionnaires. Most studies in this project are experimental and will be analyzed with ANOVAs and t-tests.

Findings: 

Findings will be posted as they become available.

Other Products: 

Web resource for researchers studying explanation.